You know your color wheel. And you probably have your own favorite color combinations —the ones that make your heart race and the world click and slide into place. Even so, it's nice to switch it up a bit, and try something new, even if it's just a variation on the theme. Here are some stunning rooms that give fresh direction for choosing paint.
The trick is choosing less saturated colors as a way to tweak classic color schemes, making a room less intense. There's currently a shift towards chalky, dustier tones that read more earthy. Think Pantone's recent Marsala versus the previous year's Radiant Orchid. Although the color is still there, it’s softer and sophisticated.
Powdery colors are perfect for a calm bedroom, like the pale one above designed by Dyer Grimes Architects. The muted cool blue walls and warmer accents are a split complement combo that work with each other nicely, and make it feel elegant and calm.
Pink and red are analogous, and live quite nicely next to each other on the color wheel. For something new, avoid the bubblegum and cherry shades, and try a pale, pale mauve paired with burgundy. From Elle Decoration.
I love this room from Dulux Valentine, which pairs "fig" and "chocolate" with little contrast. Again, it's two smoky, warm colors that appear natural.
Blue and yellow are classic complementary colors that oppose each other on the color wheel. This Paris apartment went for different shades of the two, which puts a different spin on the common pairing.
The New York Times featured James Oakley’s New York home, which is decorated in variation of triadic red, yellow and blue, but the softer tints don’t remind you of a kindergarten classroom. The warm ochre sofa, rust pillows, and the cool charcoal walls are muddier versions of the original trio; the contrast is enough to keep your eye interested, but it's not overly energetic.
For more on choosing paint color, and that handy dandy color wheel, see: